Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Summer Break: Week Four

Well.... first of all.... Zack and I qualified for our concealed carry permit this past weekend!  Zack has wanted to take this class for some time and I thought it would be fun to take it together!  We have a friend from church that teaches the class so we coordinated with him to put it on the calendar. I was so nervous about the written test and the actual shooting to qualify but I am proud to say I passed both parts and even had all thirty rounds land on the target!  It was an educational experience for sure!
 My qualifying is on the left and Zack's is on the right....
While we were away for the day, Grammy entertained the boys at the neighborhood playground and around our house!  It was fun getting picture updates throughout our class.

I am proud to say that this week we officially worked together to complete a puzzle!! These two brothers put this puzzle together themselves!  We are still working on sharing and taking turns but on this day, collaboration prevailed and mommy is celebrating!!
 Maddox looks so big going into church on Sundays and for VBS with his little shark backpack.  He insists on carrying it himself and leading the way to his class each day!  Also, he is saying the ABC song (almost entirely correctly)..... and will throw in an "amen" at the end of it.... which is just so cute!  I think he believes the ABC song is a prayer. ;)
 After VBS on Monday, we got Chick-Fil-A for lunch and ice cream for dessert!  I continue my streak as "mom of the year" over here! :)
 Here are some pictures from VBS..... we are loving spending time learning about Jesus with our friends at church!
Here is the room I am working in.... "shelter"....our bible story is from Acts 3 which talks about the lame beggar that is given the ability to walk through the power of Jesus Christ bestowed on the disciples.... we reenact the scene at the temple (hence why the temple appears in our island ship-wrecked adventure).
 The boys love bringing pennies in for the penny campaign.... Maddox stretches out the word "pennnnnyyyy".  They also love bringing home their crafts that follow the "Ship-Wrecked" theme!
The children's worship center is transformed each year depending on the theme..... isn't this incredible!?
We have also fit in dinner with the Williams family at a local park.... it is so great to watch the kids playing together!
Tonight, I had dinner with my college roommate, Sam, and her kids.... it is so wonderful seeing her and her kids have grown so much since last year!  With Sam living out of state, I take any opportunity to see her if she is nearby.  We are already talking about how we might need to have a girls' weekend away next year to actually have complete conversations!  We had a delicious dinner at Mellow Mushroom and then took the kids to Chick-Fil-A to get out some energy before bed and had a little ice cream for dessert!  As you can see from the picture below.... the kids were the best for picture purposes when they held ice cream cones in their hands!  

Friday, July 13, 2018

Summer Break: Week Three

We have loved our third week of summer break!! I took the boys to the pool three different days!  They are doing a great job jumping off from the side and Zander is even going under and swimming (when we are in water that he can clearly touch if he needs to).  I tried to take his puddle jumper off once in the big pool and he didn't like that one bit!  I wish he knew he was actually swimming and wouldn't be intimidated by the deeper water but I am trying not to push it (or traumatize him!)  We went to Chuck E Cheese last weekend (Zander had a gift card from his birthday).  This was the boys' first experience there and we had a blast!

 Also last weekend, we fit in a trip to a water park!  Grandpa won us free tickets to Wet-n-Wild so we spent the morning exploring the wave pool, splash pad and other kid-approved water areas.  It was a fun day in the sun!
I have been so proud of myself that we have been eating in for most meals (since I'm not known for my cooking in spite of my maiden name!)  We usually have a simple breakfast and sandwiches etc. at the pool or at home for lunch.  I have made basic dinner entrees that I know the boys will like (ex: spaghetti, tacos, pizza, hot dogs, grilled chicken, corn on the cob, watermelon, etc)..... but these meals have made for extra time at home and extra money in our wallet (or money that goes to other repairs that have come up lately.... but who's counting?!)  On Wednesday, we had an "Eat Out For Education" where local businesses were giving a portion of their total sales for the day to our local schools.... so we had to take advantage of this occasion..... we went for the Mexican restaurant...a family favorite!  I loved not having to prep anything or clean anything up..... we might be sprinkling in a couple more meals like this over the summer! :)

 A couple nights this week I helped set up for our Vacation Bible School which starts on Monday..... which means Week 4 of summer break will be spent at VBS!  I am helping in the "shelter" room of our "Shipwrecked" theme.  I can't wait to see all the boys learn next week and I absolutely love working with the kids at our church!  This is definitely one of my favorite weeks of the summer!
The boys and I love getting out of the house every day..... as I mentioned earlier, three days this week we went to the pool, one day I had a meeting for work so Grammy watched the boys and one day we had to visit the car place (my car was having a little trouble... I think I ran over something I shouldn't) and stopped at the doctor's office to have Zander diagnosed with an ear infection or swimmer's ear!  We are treating the ear with very expensive drops (I was shocked something so little could be so expensive!) and hoping we are ready for more water adventures as we finish out the rest of our summer!

We have also worked with stickers, stamps and markers as we wait for daddy to come home in the evenings..... Maddox usually writes on himself.... as he is pointing to his lip in the picture below.
And finally, I love this picture of the boys in the matching shirts my parents got them from some of their recent travels....they are definitely summer-approved! :)  Zack thinks it's funny they are rocking plaid shorts with them... I think it makes the ensemble!

Friday, July 6, 2018

Summer Break: Week Two

We've had another fun week!! First, we celebrated my birthday a week or so late with my family (the Bakewells were in Ireland/England and the Kennedys were in the western part of the state on the actual day).  We had a delicious Japanese dinner and yummy cupcakes!  Then, we fit in two days at the pool (one day by ourselves and once with family and friends), two days at the science center (once with daddy and once with Grammy, Aunt Lindsey and Emerson) and one day at the lake (with the Williams family).  As you can see from the pictures, we are having fun and staying very busy!  We were able to have a delicious dinner at our house on Wednesday to celebrate America's independence and enjoyed the fireworks with Kelly and the Whites.  The boys loved the fireworks! 

One of my favorite summer activities is after we have had dinner and baths.... we will sometimes cuddle up in our bed to watch a television show before bedtime..... these cuddles with my four boys make me so happy!

Thanks to Grammy, we even fit in a date night to see the new Jurassic World (Fallen Kingdom) movie!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Summer Break 2018: Week One

We are officially on summer break which means I return to my weekly posts of all the fun things my boys and I are doing this summer! I always love looking back at these posts from year to year to see how we filled our days with fun and relaxation!  I am attempting to put some of the pictures in a collage format so when I print this blog into a book (like I do every year), it won't be so many pages for each entry! haha..... so without further ado...... Summer 2018 here we come!

Before I officially began my summer break.... I do have a few pictures from my last week at work..... one of my co-workers gave me a signed baseball from Zach Thompson of the W-S Dash.  I told her the story of how Zander really wanted a baseball at the first game we attended (with his little league team) and how he was planning on bringing his baseball glove to all future baseball games.... and she brought me a signed ball! (She didn't know that I was "mom of the year" just days before she handed me this ball when I rushed after a foul ball.... see previous post for the details on this.)  I am so blessed to work with some amazing people!  Zander thinks this autographed ball is the best thing he has ever received! :) 
 Also, my sweet hubby sent roses to my work in celebration of the last week (and to acknowledge that things had been pretty rough around the Houston household!)  Basically, during my last week of work amidst 10 hour work days, Zander threw up all over his bed.  Burke threw up all over our floor the following night.  Maddox had tummy issues and then Zack came down with the bug!  Zack was pretty puny for about a week and a half so I fortunately was able to hold down the fort healthy!  It made for a tough introduction to summer so the flowers were such a nice treat!  Zack also sent a flower to each of our office staff... including my principal!  As you can tell, we have a blast at work!  Here they are modeling the "sorority pose" while accepting their gift from Zack! Also, I always get flowers from my favorite actor..... if you watch Grey's Anatomy.... you will get who my admirer is! :)

 Now to Summer Break 2018.....
1.) We celebrated mommy's 35th birthday with a matinee movie (Incredibles 2) which happened to be Maddox's first movie in the theater (that he might actually remember!).
2.) To continue the birthday celebrations, we camped in the backyard with the Williams' family!
3.) We fit in a couple pool days!
4.) We went to story time at the library.
5.) Zander and I played board games a couple days while Maddox napped.... Zander loves Candyland and is crazy smart when it comes to memory games!! He legitimately beat me multiple times!
6.) We went to the movies with Emmy and Aunt Lindsey (How to Train Your Dragon 2, Emmy's first movie in the theaters).
7.) We headed to Atlanta for the weekend.... Maddox's first time staying in a hotel!
8.) We celebrated Henry turning ONE!  The cake that Aunt A made was delicious!
9.) We met a cute turtle in Aunt A and Uncle Jay's yard... Maddox named him "Ruben".
10.) We were all smiles returning home after a lengthy car ride!

On to week two......

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Happy Father's Day! :)

This week has been all things daddy as we anticipated Father's Day!  I am in the final stretch at work and have about one more week before summer officially starts for me and my boys.  Zack took the boys to preschool on Friday and enjoyed "Donuts with Dad" before dropping the kids off in their classes and heading to work.  I loved having Zack at home that morning..... it showed me how much easier the mornings would be for me if he was around as we got ready and headed out the door.  He is always gone for work before the boys wake up which makes mornings very challenging.  It was so great having him around a couple more hours that morning!
 Maddox and Zander gave Zack sweet homemade presents while he was at the preschool. :)

 On Saturday, we had to spend the morning getting both our cars inspected and some additional maintenance for the truck.  While we were waiting for Zack's truck to get finished up, we fit in some time at the local park!  The boys always love time with their daddy!

In honor of Father's Day.... I had to include some of my favorite pictures of my three boys! :) 
I took Grandma to go visit Grandpa this weekend, making sure to deliver a cheeseburger, fries and strawberry shake!  It was great seeing them both this holiday weekend! 
Saturday night, we went to a baseball game with friends.  The boys had a great time and we even got a group picture!  The most humorous part of the evening was that I ran after a foul ball so that Zander could have his wish of getting a baseball at the ball game!  He even had his glove with him in hopes of grabbing a ball!  I basically jogged out of my place in line (waiting for a sweet treat for the boys) and grabbed the ball as it was bouncing on the concrete!  Zander is super excited, and he keeps telling how mommy got him a baseball.  Maybe I earned the title of "mom of the year"?! :)

Here is a picture of the boys after church on Father's Day (below)..... notice Zander is still carrying his baseball everywhere he goes! Haha
Finally, I helped deliver the Kennedys to the airport for their next adventure.  This was Emmy's first time in a forward facing car seat and she loved it! :)